Apostle Suleiman and the Politics of ‘Defend Yourself’

I wanted to post this on Facebook but, on the last minute, I decided to put it on the blog in order to have a better conversation. By putting it on the blog, I have cut off a large number of people who are less likely to click on a link and are too lazy to read but who are very quick to start a fight in the comment box.

I sometimes think of this blog as an exclusive club where I come to share more delicate things. Viral is not usually more useful. In fact, the more philistinism you put in your work the more likely you are to go viral. I am beginning to suspect that there is an acute lack of willingness to engage in intelligent arguments in Nigeria. We are too breezy, too gossipy, too pictorial, too jokey, too dismissal, too impatient to really make a difference. I, you and the few of us who have sense, have a lot to do to salvage Nigeria from the siege of deplorability.

That is not my problem in this particular post. Apostle Suleman’s sermon is.

I have watched the video for quite a few times and I have also read the comments condemning him. At first, I shrugged off the whole thing by reposting Elnathan John’s tweet that the average Christian or Muslim sermon contains hate speech. But the arguments and name calling have continued. And a tweet of 140 characters couldn’t have covered it all. I have now decided to develop my points.

I will discuss the points in two parts. The first part is on what I believe in; in the second part, I will pass my verdict (yes, this blog is a court and I am the chief judge).

PART ONE

1, I am a Christian. I am a Christian who has a strong clarity about the deity of Jesus Christ as a Prince of Peace.

So I find the sermon of the apostle curious and troubling. Self-defence, which the Christian Association of Nigeria has endorsed, is not a Christian way. It doesn’t matter how many Christians say it. It doesn’t matter how many times they say it, or how highly placed they are placed; the weapons of Christianity are not carnal. Period!

2, Nigerian government has failed Christians.

One of the perceptions of Christians and southerners about Buhari during his many attempts to become president is that he is a religious and ethnic fanatic. Even Atiku implied this during his campaign for the APC ticket. Buhari is now president having been polished by the media powerhouse of Tinubu. But Buhari’s appointments, utterances, actions and body language have proved his critics right. He is biased. He doesn’t take the incessant attacks of Fulani herdsmen seriously. I don’t think it takes sleep away from his eyes.

3, Self-defence is a natural law.

It’s acceptable to every international, civil and human rights group. But it is not a Christian tenet. I am not against self-defence but I am against advocating self-defence on the altar. The Christian altar should be disengaged from this sort politics. Why,

a) Because it is not Christian.

b) Because it robs Christianity the power to tap into the supernatural defence they   believe in.

c) It energises their adversaries who would take it as a call to arm themselves the more.

d) It is meaningless because anyone who is resolved to take up self-defence will do so whether the clergy condemns it or not. And those who will run away will run away even if Apostle Paul of Tarsus comes in person blandishing a machine gun.

That takes me to the second part.

PART TWO

What is the way forward? I, Justice Kingsley Okechukwu of Hard Voices Supreme Courts, rule that,

1, Christians must tap into their real power.

They serve a God who walked on water, who raised the death, who resurrected Himself from the death, whose servant’s shadow healed multitudes (except you don’t believe these in which case you are not a Christian). If a Christian with as little as a tenth of the faith of the least disciple of Jesus Christ of Nazareth stands up today and says, ‘As long as I live, there will no longer be any Fulani herdsmen harassment’, it will be the end of herdsmen terrorism. He may say, if he is the angry type, ‘Any Fulani herdsman who lays his hand on a weapon will fall and die instantly’, and it will happen. But where is such man?

2, Christians must stop playing home and away.

If you believe in God, you do, if you don’t you don’t. Once a Christian starts making statements like ‘Pray but don’t be stupid’ he is invariably saying, ‘Pray but get AK47 in case your prayer fails.’ And such attitude is against the faith in God. If you don’t trust, in totality, the power of God, then you better have a powerful plan B because you will need it. Once you put God as plan A you have lost it. God doesn’t do plans. He is your saviour or he is not. He is not one of your saviours.

3, If Christians decide to go with plan B, then the likes of Apostle Suleman must step down the pulpit and lead the way.

There should be offerings for weapons and congregations should be encouraged to sow a seed of weaponry. Going on Plan B stealthily won’t work because Christians are against a well-organised group with the tacit if not overt support of their elites both in government and outside it. I urge you Christian not to do this,

  1. Because it will destroy Nigeria. We’ll wake up someday and there is no more country called Nigeria.
  2. Because it is not a clear cut battle between Muslims and Christians. Although Christians are near 100 percent of the victims of Fulani carnage, the terrorists are a minority and in mobilizing for self-defence there is no way it won’t spill-over into a free for all fight.

4, Nigerian Government must protect Christians.

They should stop endorsing Fulani terrorism. They should start arresting these evil people, try them and jail them. They must raid their hideout and recover their weapons and go after their sponsors. The nonsense talk of ‘We will deal ruthlessly with perpetrators of this bastardly acts’ is nonsense talk, we are no longer buying. Buhari and his agents must show that they are not only against law-breaking but after law-breakers. How can, as Suleman says, ‘212 people died in Kaduna and nobody is prosecuted, nobody is prosecuted. Not one.’ Yet we have Biafran agitators in prison; Niger delta avengers in prison, Shia Movement members in prison and not a Fulani herdsmen in detention. This stinks of bias, of cover-up even.

They can start by re-arresting the killers of Evangelist Eunice and the woman beheaded in Kano. How can we be trying a man who named his dog Buhari and say we have no evidence against people who kill people?

5, Nigerian Government must rebuild the communities destroyed by the herdsmen.

I don’t mean rebuilding just the burnt houses and churches, but using the opportunity to electrify the localities, bring tap borne water, build more school blocks, tar their roads, empower the people financially etc. It won’t bring the death back but it would ease the mourning of the living. Doing this will pass a message to government that they stand to pay a huge price if they do not protect their citizens.

6, Influential Nigerians must continually hold government to their duty.

It pains me when politicians of the opposition join APC. It robs Nigeria of the needed dissenting voice. But non-politicians like Pastor Adeboye, whose complaint caused the sacking of the FRC executive secretary and the suspension of its alleged anti-church law, Uma Ukpai and Father Mbaka must use their influence to the limit (except they are silently involved in verdict one above, which is not evident).

Finally, we must keep the conversation going. It doesn’t seem to change anything but it has put us one conversation forward. You may also want to read Too much bloodshed and Don’t let the devil use you. My groaning for the good of Nigeria, no matter how flawed it is, did not start today. It won’t end anytime soon.

God help us.

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu

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Last Rambling Of A Very Angry Nigerian

Read the very first rambling here .

I don’t know why I have the feeling that this is the last time I ramble about Nigeria. I have a few suggestions.

  1. Maybe I am going to die tomorrow.
  2. Maybe I am going to prison after this.
  3. Maybe data will become too expensive.
  4. Maybe I am going to be appointed by the government and put in charge of some big loot.

But in any of these cases, my rambling won’t stop. If I died tomorrow, then it is the government or people who work for the government who killed me; I can’t just die like that, in my mid-twenties (don’t be silly). Something must kill a man. Only one thing can kill a healthy angry Nigerian who has just begun life. My death will give birth to hundreds of ramblers more dangerous than me, and less likely to listen to reason. Remember the ‘silent working-class whites’ who elected Trump president? There are silent angry Nigerians reading and waiting for me to die before they set Nigeria on fire. (By the way, thunder will fire anyone who wants me dead before they stand up to the misdirection of Buhari and other idiocies in Nigeria. Ndiara).

Even if I go to prison, I will come out someday. Abi, is it life imprisonment? Whatever it is won’t stop me from rambling. If it’s a life term, I will ramble on from my cell. Didn’t Nnamdi Kanu write a letter to Trump from prison? I will ramble from prison.

If data become too expensive, I will still ramble. Remember that Psquare line, ‘If I no get money I get where to borrow.’ Ah ha. I does.

If I am appointed to oversee governmental loot, I won’t stop rambling. In fact, I will ramble smoother. I will open a new site and ramble under a moniker. I will also contract people to ramble every blessed in the site and I will pay them handsomely. You see.

So I don’t think today is my last rambling. Maybe for the year. Not forever, I guarantee you. Yea, that is the number 4 suggestion.

         5. I am not going to stop rambling.

But why use the title last rambling, to clickbait? Not really. Martin Luther King Jnr said for us to live and act as though everyday is the last day on earth. So I assume this blog post will be the last I ever blog. So I am going to write it with the fearlessness of a deathbed epistle. With the clarity of a lifetime tutelage in the field of wailing about the Nigerian Sickness.

I have broken the rambling into ten sub-sections. Some demand explanations, some don’t.

1, Nigerian Government is the only Ponzi Scheme in Nigeria

You know the CBN, governmental agencies and even the clueless House of Representatives are vocal in their disdain for MMM. They dismiss it as a ponzi scheme and call on all the good people of Nigeria to reject it. Laughs. It is laughable that the government only call on the ‘good people of Nigeria’ only when they want to shortchange Nigerians. ‘The good people of Nigeria must support subsidy removal. The good people of Nigeria must support Buhari’s change agenda’ (what the hell is it?). Etc.

But there are no good people in Nigeria no more. Only hungry people. Only frustrated people. You sit at home, hungry and watching your child walk home from school because you couldn’t pay her school fees. But you are being owed by the government, but no one cares; so the school owned by the same government pursues your child away. So you tune in the radio and hear the milk-softened voice of a politician who has never being owed, who will never be owed no matter what saying, ‘all good people of Nigeria must…’ ‘Hold it!’ It is hard to be good at this time. Nay, impossible.

This is not an endorsement of MMM; if anything, it is a shaming of government who know that we are on recession yet they buy jeep worth ten million naira every three months. Who budget billions on hardship allowances. And change furniture because they cannot sit in the same chair vacated by the previous corrupt government. And include in government payroll every member of their crony, both the living and death, plus the unborn and the un-thought of. They inflate every contract by 200 percent. But they are angry about MMM. Let thunder judge.

2, Violence is the Only Area Our Government is Efficient

Our president only reads cartoon. Can you blame him? He doesn’t even have high school certificate. Political analysis tires him; economic postulations and graphs confuse him.

‘Biafrans are protesting in Onitsha.’

‘Shias are in procession in Zaria.’

‘Niger Delta  avengers just bombed Chevron pipeline.’

These are the things Aso Rock is good at. I can (almost) hear Buhari issuing the orders, ‘Crush them! Shegu.’

Even this efficiency is tainted by northern bias which is normal with anything Buhari touches. Because Fulani herdsmen rampaging Benue, Enugu and Southern Kaduna have been spared this ‘crush them’ mentality. And with Boko Haram we see issues like: ‘We don’t have ammunition. US blocks arms sale. Soldiers morale is low. Corruption fights back. Bla bla  bla.’

3, Buhari Cares About Oyibo People More Than Us

The only criticism Buhari or the servants of Buhari respond to is the criticism in Daily Mail, the Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post etc. You that is wailing in Vanguard Newspaper on Facebook, Twitter or WordPress is wasting your time and energy. The Government doesn’t care about the fact that you don’t have light, you haven’t eaten or seen no kobo of your pension. As long as the international community thinks that Buhari is a good leader and a world player, he and his people are fine.

Buhari is the woman who starves her children in order to pay jewelleries for the dance of the maiden in the market square.

4, Federal Government Values Law-Breakers More than You

Since Buhari became president no law-abiding citizen has benefitted one naira (name that person). But Boko Haram and Niger Delta Avengers have gotten alerts worth billions of naira. They are still negotiating with Boko Haram for billions more.

5, Corruption Is Still Lucrative.

If you listen to government officials like the crude Lai Mohammed and the shockingly and ingenuously clueless Kemi Adeosun you must have heard of the tiring ‘Corruption fights back’. That is also the key word of the rabid fanatical supporters of Buhari on Facebook comment boxes. Corruption doesn’t have to fight back because no one is fighting corruption. To paraphrase Ezeulu of Achebe’s Arrow of God, ‘If anybody tells you that Buhari or anyone is fighting corruption, tell him he is lying. I say tell him there is no grain of truth in his belly.’

What are Buhari and his people doing? They are fighting Buhari’s enemies. Period. How can Buhari fight corruption when:

i) his secretary of the federation used 270 million to cut grass in IDP camps;

ii) his chief of staff as Rivers governor spent billions of naira on monorail and couldn’t complete one kilometre;

iii) his chief of army staff  used snake farming to buy mansions in Dubai;

iv) his minister of power used 78 million naira for one bore hole;

v) his minister of Interior is a beneficiary of Dasuki loot;

vi) when his minister of communication reduced MTN’s fine after MTN dashed him 500 million naira data.

Etc.

I can go on and on. It is as long as the cast at the end of a Chinese movie—it’s endless. These people are sacred cows. No one can touch them.

screenshot-7

Now you get the picture, no one is fighting corruption.

‘At least no one is stealing’. That is another insensible excuse Buhari’s thinning supporters parrot. Even those who parrot this don’t believe their sermon. Billions are being stolen every day. How do I know? It is simple. We are running on six million naira budget. One single project hasn’t being executed yet FG is looking for addition 30 billion dollars loan. Hahaha.

Pass me the bottle jor.

6, Nollywood Will Never Change.

I know there are some movie-makers who are out to make good movies, I have heard of the movie CEO. I have seen the trailer and I believe it will make for a decent seeing. But I have also seen the poster of the movie, Chidinma and the Cucumber. I have made a post on facebook dissing the filmmaker Elvis Ogbonna whom I refer to as animal-in-chief of the federal republic (I am lenient). Imagine the punk making film from the scandal of a young girl. With the like of Elvis being able to make movies, until we deny vultures the power to make films, Nollywood will remain the laughing stock of movie industries worldwide. For every one good movie Kunle Afolayan makes there are hundreds of Elvises making nonsense. I don’t think the few creative filmmakers can compete with the Upper-Iwekalisation of Nollywood.

8, Nigerian Government is the Only Ponzi Scheme in Nigeria

I think I have said this before. Well, it can’t be overstated. The federal, state, local governments and all their arms combined are the yahoo yahoo happening in Nigeria. They are the official 419 of the Federal Republic.

Wait, did I skip item seven? I think you know why.

9, Nigeria is in the Stone Age.

Yeah, we still burn thieves alive. You steal, we catch you, we put tire around your neck, douse you with gasoline and light the light. Then we go home, take our bath and attend a rally done in defence of a big politician who stole billions.

Nigeria is jungle. And some people ask Soyinka to tear his green card; the same card which is the only link he has with the 21st century. Is like your head is not correct.

10, This is not my last rambling.

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu